Scripture leaves no doubt that the people and land of Israel are of great importance to Father. Consequently, they must be important to us. However, the dynamics and issues surrounding Israel, complex and difficult as they are, tend to leave many with a lack clarity on how to practically enter into the Lord’s plans and purposes.
Simply put, the key to knowing where to stand and what to do lies in grasping the burden of the Lord. With this mind, we have created this ten-session course, Israel Revealed, to help us understand God’s personal feelings, thoughts, and global strategies. It is designed for discussion in small groups. From the feedback we’ve received, participants have found it to be more a journey of personal discovery than a series of teachings on basic principles. The concepts and perspectives set forth through this course will deepen our relationship with God, knit us together with like-minded brethren, and inspire us to join together with our Messianic brethren in preparing the way for the Presence of the Lord.
As you approach this course it might be helpful helpful to have little background on the reason for its creation. We think you will find that there are a few dynamics somewhat unique to this series.
After over four decades of sitting in meetings listening to messages, we have noted that most of what was said, as good as it was, did not register in us so that we could in detail convey what we had heard. Additionally, after over two decades of traveling the globe speaking about God’s heart for Israel, we have noticed that those to whom we spoke, as much as they loved and received what we shared, likewise did not retain enough to pass along what they had heard. Simply hearing a message in the way we are accustomed will not equip one to be a messenger. The material needs to be processed and digested before it can become part of our fabric of thought. Possibly the best way to accomplish this is in a small group discussion with a few open-hearted likeminded people. And so the structural concept was set. Perceiving this need was the initial impetus that birthed the course.
The second aspect that sets this series of discussions apart is looking to view Israel, past, present, and future, from God’s timeless perspective. In every situation, at every point we ask and endeavor to understand what things look like from where He sits. What was/is He doing? How does He feel? What does He want us to get? Stepping back a little from the immediate moment has yielded some exceptional insights into God’s nature, ways, and heart.
As people began gathering in homes weekly to discuss the various sections, a third dynamic or result surfaced. Given that there was no “leader” as such with the final word on everything, given that all were equally seated at a round table, given that is was not about getting information but going on a journey together, the participants found themselves being knit together heart to heart in a spirit of intimacy and transparency.
The course is designed to be used in the context of a group discussion to more fully process the thoughts and concepts.
If you intend to facilitate a group, we suggest ordering the printed, spiral bound work books for each of the participants. They are available for a suggested donation of $10 US.
At present the course is available in English and German. Other languages will be available in the future.
Take a peek at a few snippets from the book
To bear good fruit, our process must be clear, methodical, and as analytical as it is revelational. All the dots need to be connected for the picture to be complete. The journey ahead is a corporate experience. Walking together will help insure that we arrive at the right place. Knowing what to do is a secondary matter. When our hearts are set right, we will think right and see where God is looking.
In several places Scripture refers to the peoples of the earth as Jews and Greeks. The designation here of being Greek is other than relative to national identity. The reference to the sons of Zion and the sons of Greece in Zechariah 9:13 is likewise more about two worldviews than about two demographic nations. The people of God are Hebraic in mindset. The opposing worldview — approach to life — is commonly referred to as Greek.
The Greek worldview, being the dominant perspective of the world around us, says, “Read the Bible and you will then know God.” Hebraic thinking says, “Know God and you will then understand the Bible.”
It is important to bear in mind that God’s relationship with Israel is founded and rooted in His relationship with Abraham. We read in Isaiah 41:8 and 2Chronicles 20:7 that God calls Abraham his friend. In Exodus 33:11 God refers to His face-to-face relationship with Moses as that which a man would have with his friend. The Hebrew word for “friend” relating to Moses is a word that is also used for a “business associate.” The word for “friend” regarding Abraham, on the other hand, is “lover.” For us then to fully understand God’s position towards Israel, it would help to look into the life and nature of Abraham the Hebrew.
Consider the ramifications in the life of an individual who grows up hearing his parents repeatedly telling him he is not loved, was never wanted, is completely worthless, will never amount to anything, is the cause of problem after problem, etc. etc. Living in such an atmosphere of negativity from the cradle would produce a brokenness that God and God alone could heal. Imagine how it would affect the soul and identity of a nation to hear such things generation after generation. Even their very DNA would be altered.
As the Old Testament is associated with the law and judgment, the New Testament is commonly thought of as the purveyor of grace and forgiveness. Rather than new colors being added to an existing picture, a page has been turned and a new picture drawn, beginning with chapter forty. With the first part largely missing, what we see is simply not an accurate reflection of how things really are.
As we look at how the Church has developed over the last fifty years, an aspect we find missing is the fear of the Lord. This lack in the midst of the believing community can be traced back to neglecting what was revealed in the first part of the Bible, which led to a lack of understanding of and relationship with Israel. Without the fear of the Lord we have neither wisdom nor understanding. Regardless of what it might look like from the outside, the “house” has no foundation.
Habits and traditions get well-entrenched over two millennia. Changing the course of an ocean liner is a gradual process. It does not do well with radical turns or sudden stops. Its momentum is considerable. Ignoring this fact will result in damage to the vessel. So can be seen the character of the quantum shift already in progress in the Body of Messiah. Rather than thinking of it as a restoration of something lost, it feels more like a metamorphosis — something being birthed different from anything we have known.
The nation of Israel was founded through the lives of three Patriarchs. Its relationship with God was built through the dynamics of three covenants. The fact that God made three covenants with Israel is as notable as that there were three Patriarchs. It is logical to conclude that all that needed to be communicated, understood and established was accomplished within the framework of the three.
An important premise behind this study is that the life of physical Israel was given by God to us as a manifestation in the natural realm of eternal spiritual realities and principles. While we want to take care not to over-spiritualize, we also want to be careful not to miss something God wants us to know and understand.
Romans 12:1 is the central verse about worship in the NT. Though the word “worship’ does not appear, presenting ourselves as living sacrifices is exactly what worship is. Since it opens up with the word “therefore,” it connects what comes in Romans 12 with what just came before in chapter 11. The injunction of 12:1 could hardly be stronger or more demanding. We are being called to present our very bodies as living sacrifices in the light of and for the purpose of fulfilling what was set forth in chapters 9-11. To connect the very act of worship with the calling on Israel is of major importance.
Years ago, the nation had a hard time trusting the motives of all the Christians coming and visiting and marching. There is good reason for that. They believed that they had an agenda to convert the Jews to Christianity. Today, after two solid decades of real love and comfort being demonstrated, they have begun to believe it is real, and things are changing. Things have changed. On the natural human level the degree of change is amazing.
While much of the world points its finger, calls Israel names, and seeks her destruction, to come alongside is not without cost. In the face of such costly support, what would the people of Israel think? While Israel is consumed with its own survival, the impact of a people living a selfless life rooted in eternity is making them jealous.
We can conclude that the place of the greatest concentration of the most powerful forces of darkness would be at the point of his greatest weakness. From there it is a simple deduction that the enemy’s command and control center must be in the second heaven over the land and people of Israel. In any war, in every battle, the primary target and objective is to disrupt the chain of command and control.
If the devil’s chief demonic principalities and powers are gathered over Israel, changing the atmosphere over Israel will consequently have a domino effect across the world. This is true for any kingdom. It is written, “…strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.” (Mk.14:27)
The dynamics of a believer’s earthly life can be seen in three dimensions. The first is our relationship as individuals with God. It is intimate, personal, and largely hidden. The next dimension is the relationship to our brothers and sisters. Though we are created as individuals, it is Father’s intention and desire that we would be a body. Third is our corporate interaction in the world, which in the context of this series focuses on Israel. The subject of Israel is therefore like one strand of a three-fold cord. Some have a revelation about worship and ministry to God. Some have a passion to build and strengthen the body. Some have a calling to prepare a place for the Lord in Israel. Most believers carry one of these burdens; many carry two of the three; but few carry all three in the light of their being interconnected. These three aspects joined together are an essential element of the new wineskin. No element can reach its fullness without the other two. As with a table, three legs are needed.
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